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As a professional scientist, I am accustomed to observing some phenomenon that is interesting to me, wondering about its significance, looking at background data (if any exist, and yes, "data" is the plural form of "datum"), and then trying to figure out the principles behind.

That works well, for the most part, in systems that can be controlled and only one variable at a time changed.  That is the essence of the scientific method as it generally practiced.  I dispensed with the classical steps, which are observation, formulation of a hypothesis, experimentally testing the hypothesis, refining or rejecting the hypothesis, and then doing more and better experimental tests to test the hypothesis further.  If one is very lucky, the refined hypothesis becomes a theory, and if no exception after crushing peer review, becomes a principle or a law.

Well, there are some questions that do not stand up to that treatment, since they are not science in the classical sense.  I will not refer to organized religion at all in this essay, because whislt not mutually exclusive, science is based on observation and experiment, whilst religion is based on faith.  I shall also make no value judgment on any organized religion in this post.

I will say this, however.  There are many similarities betwixt religion, superstition, mythology, and self deception.  The most obvious similarity is that there is no formal analysis in an experimental fashion.  For one brief example, Aristotle posited that the sun was the center of the Universe and everything else revolved around it.  Even casual observations showed that this was not true, but it was adopted, and became the canon of the Catholic Church for eons.  It is interesting to me that the Church would adopt the dicta of a pagan, but that is one of those questions for which I have no answer.

Well, on to my questions.

First, if gold is such a good deal right now, why do the firms that sell it hawk it so hard on the right wing radio talk shows and the Fox "News" Network?  If I thought that it were such a good investment, and that the dollar was not (always implied and most often expressed in the adverts), then I would hold on to the gold.  Yet the firms that hawk it seem very ready to sell it.  Something is wrong in their logic if they currently hold something worth more than dollars, but yet want to trade it for dollars.  Please help me here.

Second, why are the conservative commentators so whiny?  I am serious, they are the most whiny folks that I have ever heard.  They are, at least on air, on the blogs, and the cable TeeVee so positive that they are correct, that they very certain that they are correct.  As any of you who read my regular Pique the Geek series here on Sunday evenings, I often find myself in disagreement with folks who have either better or worse information than have I, a different point of view, or occasionally just someone trying to be disruptive.  Unless I can show with facts that such a commentator is intentionally being misleading and disruptive, I will engage that person for a long time, and usually we come to common ground.  By the way, I have quit the HR thing for those who disagree with me unless they are abusing others unfairly.  But the big radio folks rejoice in belittling those who disagree with them, essentially demonizing those who hold other views.  What gives?

Third, why is it a story only of Fox "News" and affiliated of Limbaugh that the "scoop" about the "crooked scientists" concerned with climate change?  The usual suspects were all over it the last couple of days, whilst the "state regulated" media were not.  Could it be a wee bit of sensationalism?  Fodder for the ignorant, I suspect, but any illumination would be appreciated.

Forth, and this is related the the first point, why to the ultra right folks hate America?  Those adverts swear that the dollar is fading, and one even used words that say, to use a very close paraphrase, "... gold will still be money when the US dollar is a footnote in history."  That is very patriotic.  I have heard these adverts only on the most right wing, pro America sources, but they clearly state that the US dollar, and, by association, the US, is fated to be a footnote in history.  Why do the right folks hate America?

Fifth, and this will be the last, why do these people have such a large following?  I monitor them because I want to know what they are telling folks, and it takes me a good dose of Ed, Tweety, Rachael, and especially KO to come back to my senses.  However, I believe it is important to examine all sides of many issues.  I posit that I am the "fair and balanced" one here.  Am I, or am I deceiving myself?

One tiny criticism of KO:  as much as I dislike Lou Dobbs, the voice characterizations are not accurate nor even funny.  Dobbs is not a dottery old man, but rather a very misguided and ambitious one.  With greatest respect to KO, the voice characterizations do not help him make, but rather detract from his making, the point that is quite correct.  Just an observation from a staunch KO supporter.

Well, here are five things that confuse me.  Any illumination that readers can provide are more than welcome.  By the way, my essays are more designed to elicit comments than to impart views, except for the very long ones that are more technical, so the comments are the most valuable part.  I have praised with faint damnation one of my heroes, but I hope that KO, if he even bothers to read this, will take the observation as intended:  to assist him with his important work.

Warmest regards,

Doc

Crossposted at Docudharma.com

Originally posted to Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  If "data" is the plural (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Translator

      of "datum" (which it is), then you remember, don't you, that "phenomena" is the plural of "phenomenon"?

      This is where I say something.

      by crose on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:09:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed I do, and intended to use the singular (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, crose

        in the sentence in the essay.  It is similar to saying "examining some picture" in that I do it one at a time.  Grammatically one could also say "examining some pictures" just as well, but the subtly of meaning is different.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

        by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:12:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I'm not being critical (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nota bene, Wee Mama, Translator, allep10

        of your use of it--I just find it interesting.

        As for gold being hawked on right-wing teevee, well, consider the ignorance of  the audience. Yes the price of gold may rise, and these America-haters really want the dollar to fall out of use because then they would be right and America will be in some revolutionary phase where all of their hoarded gold will have more value, but the price of gold may also fall and that's why they call it speculation. In a revolutionary time, gold or dollars may not have any value at all. Food and water may have more value. Gold as a technological tool may be priceless unless there is no one to make or use the technology. During the Y2K scare the right wing teevee had the same shit going on, and the right fell for it just like they will fall for this shpiel. Speculators want to create more demand or more supply of a commodity because that's what they trade in. They want to manipulate the market in their own interest. They advertise on the right wing teevee because they know they will be able to manipulate the viewers into either buying their gold--which they probably just way underpaid the same viewers for in that other scam of paying cash for old gold jewelry--or buying up the gold in the aforementioned scam.

        This is where I say something.

        by crose on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:24:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No offense taken at all! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          An interesting historical fact is that speculation in United States gold started shortly after the first gold coins were minted in the late 1790s.  Alexander Hamilton advocated a 15:1 gold to silver valuation, and when he first did so, it was pretty much the world market relative value.

          Only a couple a years later, when the US was minting both gold and silver coins, the world value shifted to 15 3/4 to one.  Adding to the problem was at the time very worn and devalued Spanish milled silver dollars were being accepted for free minting to new US dollars by the mint, so new US silver coins were immediately shipped out of country to melt for bullion.  The small upset in the relative value of gold to silver also caused the little silver left to be traded for gold at a discount, and that 3/4 out of 15 margin was very profitable.

          The bottom line was that for decades there were fewer than one gold or silver coin per person in the United States, but coppers were relatively common (and disliked because they were so large for their value).  This bimetallism standard haunted the US until the recall of gold coins and notes in 1934.  Speculation is nothing new.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

          by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:35:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, maggiejean

    If I sell you 1 once and can then buy 1+ once with what you give me , my holding of gold has just increased .

    "Wind is a total waste of money." davidwalters Oct 4 09

    by indycam on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:09:26 PM PST

  •  Your first q: they probably make money on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Translator, crose, maggiejean

    transactions no matter what the cost of gold is. Have you noticed lots of 'sell your gold' ads as well?

    Third: it's really pretty minor stuff. One guy in UK was either doctoring the data or (more likely) just making a nice figure for a paper.

    Fifth: I think they just tell some people what they want to hear.

    •  Gold is a racket, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nota bene, FG, maggiejean

      unless you mine your own.  It is so volatile that it is not really an investment, but rather a speculation.  It has been great for the past few years, but if one looks at the value chart, it is not very dependable.

      As far as the third question goes, the silence by the real news outlets speaks a lot, but Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and O'Reilly were apoplectic about it.  I am ready to see them called on it when the real facts surface, but it will be for them just another example of the "state controlled media".

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:17:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The time to buy gold is when it looks like (5+ / 0-)

        a lousy investment--anyone who bought gold at the height of the dot-com and held it through 2008 could have made a killing, but they'd be seriously bucking conventional wisdom to buy gold in 2000. Gold would be a good thing to have now...to sell now...but a stupid thing to buy now, exactly because everyone wants it now. But then, stupid people always buy at the top of the market--that's why gold is advertised so heavily on FOX these days.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  re: the word "speculation" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        That word should be taken out and shot in the street. "Speculation" = gambling.

        Now, I have no problem with gambling per se. I personally do not find gambling a rewarding activity (the odd quarter-ante poker game among friends notwithstanding), so I don't participate.

        But I just wish we, as a society, could be honest about what our social betters are doing with their (= our) money. Speculators are gamblers. I have no problem with their activities as long as they don't threaten the long-term viability of the fuckin Republic (cf. period of fall, 2008--present).

        •  I disagree about the fate of the (0+ / 0-)

          word.  Your definition is pretty OK, but that does not make the word a bad thing.

          The bad thing is when deregulation allows investment banks and commercial banks to meld and thus to encourage speculation (gambling).

          Actually, on second thought, what happened recently is neither speculation nor gambling, because there is a possibility for either party to gain or lose (although the house in gambling holds a statistical advantage, and wins over time).  What happened under the Republican deregulation era was a concerted effort to make sure that the house ALWAYS wins, or at least the people who run it do.  Let the house fall, but the few in charge get away with half a billion dollars personally.

          Those folks should be charged, tried, imprisoned, and their entire estate forfeited to making their shareholders whole.  Please note that shareholders are quite different than bondholders, who were made whole dollar for dollar.  If you do not understand the difference, just indicate so and I will explain, but will not do in this comment for the sake of time.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

          by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:42:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mining costs for gold vary by location and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    ease of extraction.  Some is mined for less than $500 an ounce.

    But its still worth spot and the miners need a steady stream of buyers.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:18:28 PM PST

    •  But my question remains, (0+ / 0-)

      if it is going to double in value, why not just hold it?  Pay your workers in gold, and keep the rest.

      Changing it into electronic dollars, which is what the sellers to the public do, since almost all transactions are by credit card, completely debases their selling point.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:20:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Double? Pure hype and no certainty at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        As soon as the Fed tightens (raises rates) and the dollar strengthens gold will plummet.

        Its in a bubble now - could go to $1500 before then - or it could flatline before falling.

        This is the sweet spot for gold now for sure.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:26:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would not buy now. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Alexandra Lynch, shrike

          When things are higher than you have ever seen them, it is likely time to sell.  Whey things of value are lower than you have ever seen them, it is likely time to buy.

          Gold is in current dollars, higher than it has ever been, but in real dollars, significantly less.  I still would be dubious about buying it right now, but if I knew everything I would either be dead or rich.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

          by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:28:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But the ppoint (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        of mining gold is to refine and hoard it, and for it to be used in transactions between countries, not individuals. Holding onto it keeps the price artificially high, same as for diamonds.

        This is where I say something.

        by crose on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 07:36:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ah Grasshopper very good questions. lol (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Halcyon, Translator, maggiejean, allep10

    Answers:

    1.  Gold dealers make considerable profit on all transactions - buying or selling, so they can replace their stock.
    1. Conservative media hype is based on emotional displacement of "impotent rage" many feel as they age and are unable to keep up with the demands of society, and their own expectations as they age.  Whining, anger, and a certain amount of tribalism (us verus them) and concomminent suspicion, and resentment increase with age.
    1. Yes, Sensationalism, and also same as #2
    1. Don't know.
    1. It seems about 40% of the population which is probably much higher than what evolved from natural selection from previous eons when the average lifespan was around 20 to 25 years.  

    :-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:27:49 PM PST

    •  LOL! Nice levity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, maggiejean, allep10

      to answers that have meaning.  I suspect your response to #5 is related to that for #2.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:30:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't really know. I was just having fun (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, allep10

        having such certainty about vast questions when in reality I can't even figure out what going on with the health care reform bill after almost a year.

        If only life were so easy.

        And as if you didn't start the levity off with the very nature of your questions.

        A nice change to have a little fun after such a depressing couple days of news and developments.

        I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster.

        :-)

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:36:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are astute. I meant this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          side pocket, HoundDog

          as sort of a satirical look at things, but not so satirical as really to be satire.  Satire and snark are hard, but trying to compose a serious essay that has a satirical side is even harder.  I do not claim to have a great gift for it, but one American did:  Clemens (Twain).  Even his "serious" stuff had a hard satirical edge to it, and his pure satire was hilarious at the time, and much of it is still now.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

          by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:39:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            side pocket, Translator

            American historical figures.

            A volume of his short essays entitled "Reading, Writing, and Revolution" is a great collection I read some 40 years ago.  It may have been Righting or Riting as the title was a play on words, the 3 Rs.

            Yes, satire sort of oozed from his being.  Even when many thought he was being serious or just "normal."

            Most of my subtle jokes go unoticed here.  Thanks for noticing.

            :-)

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:51:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  To Within Experimental Error, "Fundamentalism" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    side pocket, Translator

    is the answer to all of them. That's a hair over 25% of the population.

    Where economics are involved, a co-answer is "corporatism."

    The two are close allies.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:32:31 PM PST

    •  HI, GR! Nice to hear from you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      side pocket

      I think that you have a pretty good explanation, and it is tied to mythology, blind faith, and lack of logical thinking.

      That is why the Big Four on the right are so effective:  they disguise their fundamentalist mythology with logical sounding phrases.  This works well on folks who think that they are better thinkers than they are.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 06:35:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And if you have a bunch of gold ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    what are you going to .... do with it? Trade it for dollars? Euros?

    Will they take gold coins when you want to buy something?

    Wouldn't EVERYONE then be selling or trying to sell their gold at the same time if there were more severe problems? Driving the price of gold down? Who would be committed to buying gold in a diving gold market? The same gold companies? No ...

    I've heard the gold pitches on Progressive Radio and Air America as well. But the DO seem to be committed to Glen Beck and others.

    Also agree that Keith could loose the accent. Also Dobbs hasn't been drunk (or that drunk) that I could see.

  •  I can't help you out with the gold question but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    as to the others, the party that is out of power is always whiny and pissy. Heck, even when in power, those on the fringes are sullen because public policy isn't pegged upscale to the ideological right or downscale to the liberal left to suit them. When the Republicans are in power, they consider snide comments about the president to be disrespectful of the office and unAmerican. When they are out of office they have no problems pasting unflatering labels on the Democratic president that they consider clever or funny. The hypocritical flip side is true of more than a few on DK.  

    There is no shortage of irrational thinking on either party. The right wingers have their birthers, global warming deniers and creationists. The left is the primary habitat of the anti-vaxers, anti-free traders, activists opposed to genetically modified food and any number of crackpot medical practitioners (many of whom have appeared regularly on Oprah). As an independent voter my nose wrinkles almost at much at some of the wacko beliefs I read on Kos as I see on Fox.

    •  You make many excellent points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blubba

      Only by immersion in all sides of a subject can one make an informed decision.  That is why Fox "News" is so insidious, because it gives an hourly, or faster, dose of being "fair and balanced", when in fact it is neither.

      Old Ales and Murdock must have hired some very clever psychologists to help them make this point, even if it is baseless.  Goebbels was their model, and he always said that if you tell a lie, tell a big one, and associate it with more, related lies, and then assure the people that the source is being "fair", and KEEP TELLING THEM.  I well know that Nazi associations usually make an essay worthless, but they were not the first nor the last to do these very things, but they actually elaborated their ideas more eloquently than had ever been done before, and we damned better well learn from their efforts.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:07:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect Fox only solidifies the Republican (0+ / 0-)

        hardcore base. If Fox was effective the number of people who call themselves Republican would be increasing. In a declining economy the party in power usually takes a hit, whether it was responsible for the downturn or not. And in truth the number of people that call themselves Democrats is declining. But rather than benefiting from the Fox propaganda machine and increasing unemployment rate the Republicans are faring even worse. I probably should be more alarmed about Fox than I am but so far I haven't seen much objective reason to be more than annoyed.

  •  I wondered the same thing about those gold ads. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    Then, I thought, hmmm, why are they just advertising on Fox?  Who watches Fox?  And of course the answer is, they advertise on Fox because the people who watch Fox believe things without any logical basis.

    I would not buy gold from these people anyway, any more than I would buy that quack cold medicine Limbaugh hawks, but I especially wouldn't buy gold that was being advertised exclusively to the most gullible people on earth.

    "A man of true science uses but few hard words, and those only when none other will answer his purpose..." - Melville

    by ZedMont on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:27:44 PM PST

    •  Some things that might be of interest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont

      to you.

      First, the anti-cold product that Limbaugh advertises had to be reformulated several years ago because the original formulation was linked to the loss of the sense of smell.  It turns out that the Zycam swabs (now pulled from market) had a direct toxic effect on smell neurons that was irreversible.

      Second, the gold broker that Hannity used pitch was arrested and charged with a Ponzi scheme.  Until the very day that he was arrested, Hannity pitched him.  Allen Stanford was indicted for felony theft, and Hannity pitched him until the day of his indictment.  Gives one a lot of faith in their due diligence, does it not?

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 08:39:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  re: gold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    I'm not fuckin with anything that gets pimped as consistently and severely as gold is on the right-wing shithead shouter shows. On principle.

    The people that listen to those shows are goddamn suckers and deserve to get ripped off. Over and over.

    I think your question (why is it being marketed so aggressively if it's so valuable) is a great one. But I guess it kind of answers itself, doesn't it? It's yet another freaking bubble. More tulip mania, like our society hasn't had its fill of that yet.

    All the hype is doing is fueling the bubble, and it's not because gold's suddenly this much more valuable than it was five years ago. The cunning thieves Serious People doing the hyping know exactly what they're doing; like most really good schemes, it relies on getting the suckers to think that they're going to sucker other people.

    •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nota bene

      It I had something that I thought would double in a year or so, I sure would not sell it to you for currency that I am telling you will halve in the same time.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:16:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evolutionary pressures in early humans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    can explain a lot of this sort of behavior.  If everybody else is doing something, or there's a persuasive impression that everybody's doing it, then from a survival standpoint makes it a good idea to jump on the bandwagon, especially for us vulnerable humans, who rely on our society for virtually every important aspect for our survival.  If everybody else is doing it, there's usually some advantage to it.  Only in the highly complex social arrangements of markets does this sort of reasoning often break down, and from an evolutionary perspective, markets are pretty recent, and aren't ubiquitous enough in our lives to provide significant pressure to change this tendency.  Lefty's do this too, witness much of the Obama phenomenon.  So much for the gold buying phenomenon.

    Demonization of others is the flip side of that coin.  The integrity and stability of a society is of utmost importance to those those whose continued survival depends on it.  Rhetorically "casting out" disruptive elements or members, which is basically any advocate for change, is part of the social strategy for preserving social integrity.  You may have noticed that many on the left do the same thing to those on the right.  This should cover the whiny bombast one finds on TV.

    Another effective strategy for at least granting the appearance of social integrity and unity is a continued appeal to beliefs which are unique to that society.  The idea that everyday climate researchers almost all have a corrupt hidden agenda, so any purported evidence that supports this notion strengthens the unity and apparent validity of that society.

    I suspect that many on the right are "opportunistic patriots" because they don't identify their society with the real functioning machinery of the United States Government.  Rather, they identify with a set of values that are often at odds with the purpose and function of the Government, and resolve their issues with patriotism by claiming loyalty to an ideal of society shaped by their values that they call "America," though this ideal is often incoherent.  I suspect that many on the left are patriotic in just this same way.

    As for the last of your questions, their following is shrinking.  It's at it's lowest population level in my lifetime.  This is in part because those idealists I mentioned above got too much power within their society, and began changing their social structure to become less tolerant and more radical.  There's still a significant following because of evolutionary pressures once again.  

    Nature has made us inclined to act without all of the relevant information, to make snap decisions, and we are easily swayed by a herd mentality.  It also tends to make us want to save face within our society, because a higher social position is usually advantageous for survival and reproduction.  So we tend to hold on and defend bad decisions, even after, logically speaking, we really ought to know better, because we don't want to look foolish in front of others.  When it comes to beliefs that are really hard to justify or prove either way, you basically have to wait for the old guard, along with all their infrastructure for maintaining their system of beliefs, to die off.

    What's amazing to me is that given all the evolutionary and social pressure humans had, and still have, to be irrational, that we discovered things like logic and math (which make science possible) in the first place.

    From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. -Immanuel Kant

    by Nellebracht on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:58:53 PM PST

    •  I appreciate your take on this. (0+ / 0-)

      As often with my essays, I intend more to provoke thought and comments than to impart information, except for my food and science ones, which are are about half and half.

      Thanks for the contribution!

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      Time for real health care reform, not just to patch the patches.

      by Translator on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:04:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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